2012 Formula One Canadian Grand Prix Preview
A brilliant start to this season has seen the sport pitch up in Montreal this week talking up the possibility of an unprecedented seventh winner from the first seven races.
There has been a lot of talk from Jacques Villeneuve who was the 1997 world champion, about how the sport has become too unpredictable on the tyre front and that the drivers can do very little as the tyres suddenly start disappearing and that doesn’t seem to be the level that F1 should be at. He reckons it should be more gradual, and not only this, he went on to call the present day drivers, “babies” and “daddy’s boys” referring to the amount of respect they give each other because he feels they do not appreciate the dangers inherent in F1.
All in all, it is pretty evident that the sport has undergone an absolute phase shift and the changes that are responsible for it have done both good and bad, the biggest gain being how much more safer it has become for a Formula One driver.
Coming to the race ahead of us this weekend, Montreal has always been a track where mechanical grip is a very significant factor thanks to the long straights it has. Hence, the downforce doesn’t count that much as well. But the high speed straights give the promise for some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres making it a paradise for a driver like Lewis Hamilton, and if he does go on to win, we will have a seventh winner from seven races!
The most challenging part of the track is the final chicane which has witnessed many crashes over the past few years. Corner exits due to the long straights have to be very precise as well, just like in Monaco. The drivers will have to go easy on the kerbs and tyre wear is going to be an issue with the drivers hitting the breaks after high speed straights. Therefore, it’s going to be a two or a three pit stop strategy for most drivers.
The Lotuses with their brilliant mechanical grip seem to be the favourites, though the Mercs and the McLarens have good straight line speeds as well. But since the tires have been so unpredictable this season, do not count out the RedBulls and the Ferraris from this equation as well, though RedBull might lose out after modifying their floor board after the recent FIA ruling about holes in the floors.
With the low downforce setups, the unpredictable Pirellis, the high speed straights and the great corner exits; its going to be a very exciting race weekend indeed.
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